Don't believe all the lies that you hear from Republican politicians, Fox News and all those that
wish to continue making huge profits for themselves. - Lies repeated daily in the media, by candidates, have ended up making some of you believe them!
Lie #1: Reducing taxes for the rich and for large corporations will provide jobs,
increase prosperity, reduce the deficit
Popularized by Ronald Reagan as "trickle down economics", this concept has been denounced by
none other than the engineer of Reagan's tax cuts, David Stockman.
Fact: The large tax cuts introduced by the Reagan administration, continued through G.H.W.
Bush's reign, coupled with huge military spending, added nearly 2 trillion 1980 dollars to the deficit, increasing it from 32.5% to 66.1% of GDP*. Notably Reagan's administration ended 36 years of continuous debt reduction through both Democratic and Republican administrations.
It needed another Democratic administration of Bill Clinton to again reduce the deficit to 56.4%
of GDP, while cutting unemployment to 3.9%. 49% of the voters didn't like that so they elected (with the Supreme Court's help) George Bush, who once again reduced taxes and increased spending to
bring the deficit up to 83.4% GDP, allowed Wall Street to run wild and plunge the country into a deep depression, from which we are all now suffering. Note that the total addition to the
National Debt resulting from both the Reagan and Bush tax cuts is currently 9.2 trillion 2010 dollars!
Incidentally, reducing taxes during the Republican administrations did not decrease
unemployment, actually unemployment tended to increase under these administrations. The
highest unemployment rate since the great Depression, 10.8% occurred in the third year of Ronald
Reagans's administration! Even though under Clinton some taxes were increased, unemployment
Lie #2. The U.S.A. has the best health care system in the world, and the Obama Health Care Bill will destroy it, adding higher costs and cutting Medicare.
Fact: Technically the quality of healthcare in the U.S. is excellent. Research (much of it government funded) has developed the best techniques and equipment in the world. However, on many other counts it
scores lower than most other industrial nations. In 2006, the United States spent
twice as much per capita, and 50% more of its GDP, as the next highest spending countries in the
world - Canada, Switzerland and France. But it ranked among the lowest of the main industrial countries of the
world in a number of factors.
- The number of uninsured persons in USA ages 18 to 65 in 2008 is over 36 million or
19.3% of the population, in all other industrial countries virtually everyone has health insurance, either
from private companies with controlled premiums, or financed by taxes.
- A 2010 RAND report measures the "Mortality from conditions considered amenable to
healthcare" in 19 OECD nations. USA in 2002/2003 was at the bottom of the list with 109
deaths per 100,000 population, just below Portugal (104). The best were France (64),
Japan (71), and Australia (71). It is notable that more recent studies show that all
countries have recently improved substantially except the U.S., in which the number of
uninsured population has also increased.
- U.S.A. also ranks lower than countries that spend considerably less in many other factors.
For example life expectancy is lower and infant mortality higher than in most other
industrial countries. Number of available hospital beds is also lower on a per capita basis.
- Insurance premiums increase much faster than actual costs, raising the profits of the
insurance companies. Based on annual reports filed with the Security and Exchange
Commission - the five largest insurance companies - WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group,
Cigna Corp., Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. posted combined profits of $12.2 billion for
calendar year 2009, a 56% increase over calendar year 2008.
In those companies more than 22 cents of every dollar of the premiums goes for administration costs
(including advertising) and profit. By comparison for Medicare that figure is less than 2.5 cents, at Kaiser
Permanente (in California) less than 4 cents, in European health care systems it ranges from 3 to 6
During the same two years, the big five insurers covered 2.7 million fewer Americans, who could
no longer afford the increased premiums, or had lost coverage when they lost their jobs.
Another big lie being propagated about the Health Care Reform Bill is that Medicare benefits will be reduced.
Fact: over the next 10 years Medicare costs will be reduced by $500 billion. Primarily the excessive
payments now made by Medicare to the private companies offering supplementary insurance to
seniors (so-called Medicare Advantage plans) will be reduced, likewise every effort will be made
to eliminate huge fraudulent payments now made by Medicare to some suppliers.
There will be no change in Medicare benefits except for an increase in drug benefits (elimination
of the so-called donut hole).
It is unfortunate that several provisions in the original House bill, that would reduce costs for both
individuals and for companies, were eliminated in the
Senate version under pressure to obtain bi-partisan support. It is the elimination of these cost reducing provisions that
cause many Democrats to be critical of the final Bill.
However recent polls suggest that 50 to 55% of possible voters are opposed to health care reform. This happens to be the percentage of the population that enjoys good health insurance, for which the high premiums have been paid by large corporations or, in the case of Congressmen and government or state employees, by the taxpayer.
Lie #3. The Obama Bank bailout added a trillion dollars to the deficit.
Fact: The Bank bailout bill, or TARP, was enacted in 2008 by the Bush administration, with bi-partisan support. Originally set at $900 billion, it was reduced to $480 by the Democratic majority
in Congress in July 2010. Of the $250 actually loaned to banks, $180 has already been repaid and
the remaining $70 will be repaid within the next year. It is expected that out of the $230 used to
rescue the auto industry, prop up AIG, help home owners and to increase lending to small
businesses, it is expected that at least half will be recovered within the next five years. The final addition to the long term deficit will be less than $100 billion.
Requiring U.S. Industry to reduce pollution and the usage of fossil fuels will cause higher costs, loss of jobs.
Fact: Many industries are voluntarily reducing emissions and installing renewable energy sources
and are reporting reduced overall costs.
The manufacturer of industrial carpeting Interface Inc reports that from 1996 to 2008 it cut its
total greenhouse emissions by 71% (in absolute tons) while sales increased by 60% and earnings
doubled. At the same time reduced water usage per sq.yd of produced modular carpet from nearly
2 gallons to 0.5 gallons, with resultant reduction in waste water emissions.
New Jersey utility PSE&G is currently investing $515 million in 80 megawatts of solar projects, doubling
the state's solar capacity and creating green jobs. The first segment consists of installing
solar units on utility poles throughout its distribution area. The second segment will focus on
centralized solar gardens and roof-top installations on its own facilities and also at third-party
sites. PSE&G is also a partner in development of a 350MW wind farm off the Atlantic coast.
PSE&G is committed to an annual carbon reduction of more than 800,000 metric tons by year
So it is imperative that all of you vote in 2012. Remember that many dictators came to power in democratic elections in which many eligible did not vote, Hitler in Germany, Peron in Argentina, Hoffa in the Transport Workers Union among them. Obviously after they were elected they did not allow any more free elections!
* GDP is Gross Domestic Product. It is a measure of a country's overall economic strength. It is the market value of all final goods and services made within the borders of a country in a year. Debt, and many other factors, should be evaluated as a ratio to the GDP, this allows evaluations over years to be comparable, in spite of inflation.